Chocolate Macadamia Coconut Tarts (Low Carb and Gluten-Free)


I am starting to come around and see the appeal of macadamia nuts. I’ll be honest, until recently, I didn’t really understand fuss about these highly-valued and rather expensive nuts. The macadamias that I’d tasted in my life really weren’t anything to write home about. Admittedly, they were of the somewhat stale, chocolate covered variety brought home by friends and family after trips to Hawaii. But I thought that was all there was to them. Although I never turn down a chocolate covered anything, they really didn’t seem to warrant the hefty price tag. So I never sought them out on my own. But as a diabetic, I work with nuts and nut flours in all capacities and for a twist one day, I decided to give the lofty macadamia another try. I got some beautiful fresh raw ones, and made some delicious, tropical-flavoured muffins (Macadamia Coconut Lime Muffins). I can’t say I was immediately hooked after that, but I did gain a measure of respect for the rich flavour of macadamia nuts.

But I had plenty left in the bag and they were expensive enough that I didn’t want them to go to waste. So they weighed on my mind for a while. I had numerous ideas, but the one that really stuck with me was the idea of macadamia nut tart shells. Ground nuts of all kinds make really great low carb, gluten free tart crusts, and I knew macadamias would be no exception. I thought they might even be better, with their high oil content. A lot of recipes I see that include macadamias leave them raw, but I wanted to toast them to bring out the intensity of their rich flavour. I couldn’t help myself, pairing them again with their tropical compatriot, coconut. They just seem made for each other. As for a filling, I had a few ideas and one of them was lime curd. But that would have been too much like the muffins I’d made earlier. In the end, I opted for a filling that gave a nod to all the chocolate covered macadamia nuts I’ve eaten when friends have returned home from Hawaii!

The Results: Mmm, mmm, yummy. I think I hardly even need to say this. How can you go wrong with macadamias, coconut and chocolate? I will say, I started off with a little too much butter in the crust. The macs themselves are so oily, I didn’t need it. When they were baking, I could see pools of oil at the bottom of each tart crust. It reabsorbed after I took them out of the oven, but I have reduced the butter in the recipe by half. Indeed, it might not need any at all, but I want to be certain that the crust will hold together. The chocolate filling was wonderfully creamy and the perfect complement to the rich, tropical flavour of the macadamia and coconut crust.

Chocolate Macadamia Coconut Tarts

Tart Shells:
2 cups macadamia nuts, lightly toasted
1 cup finely shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/4 granulated erythritol
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
20 drops stevia extract

Chocolate Filling:
6 tbsp butter
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 tbsp powdered erythritol
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
20 drops stevia extract

Preheat oven to 325F and grease a 24 mini-muffin or mini-tart pan.

In a food processor, grind macadamia nuts until they resemble coarse crumbs. Do not overgrind or you will end up with macadamia nut butter.

In a large bowl, whisk together ground macadamia nuts, shredded coconut, erythritol, xanthan gum, and salt. Stir in beaten egg, melted butter, vanilla and stevia extracts until dough begins to come together.

Divide dough between prepared muffin tins and press into bottom and sides of each. Bake 14 minutes, or until tart shells are lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool in pan 10 to 15 minutes. Using a sharp knife, gently loosen tart shells from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the filling, melt butter, chocolate, powdered erythritol and cocoa powder together in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Stir in vanilla and stevia extracts. Spoon chocolate into prepared tart shells and let set, about 1 hour.

Serves 24. Each tart has a total of 4 g of carbs and 2.2 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 1.8 g.

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  1. says

    I've never been a fan of macadamia nuts either…but this recipe has me converting :) These tarts look great and I love how dark the chocolate filling seems to be.

  2. says

    I love macadamias and I just bought a big bag of them. All I need to do is roast them and put all the other ingredients in and I'll have some of these tarts too! They look wonderful!

  3. Choc Chip Uru says

    I don't want to believe these are good for you – it goes against all my principles to enjoy a healthy dessert 😉
    Filled with Macadamias and chocolate and best of all, coconut, you have given me a one way ticket to perfect waistline heaven – love it 😀

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Chocolate Chunk Truffles + Surprise Chocolate Cookies

  4. says

    Didn't like macadamia nuts? I can't even imagine that one. It's worse than someone not liking chocolate! :) I adore them (without chocolate) and would love to fill your tart shells with something else. :)

  5. says

    You just can't help making me swoon, can you? I love macadamia in all forms so this is definitely going in the 'to be made when you've manned up and are ready to start baking' pile of recipes :)

  6. says

    I like macadamia nuts but my dad is the true fan. It is an annual stocking stuffer at Christmas time. Adding coconut and chocolate though definitely up the ante. These look delicious. I would probably pop 5 down at once.

  7. says

    I bought some macadamia nuts just before Christmas planning on making some macadamia cookies but here I'm, two months later with the macadamia nuts still in the freezer.
    These mini- tarts sound great! Love the coconut pairing.

  8. cricket says

    Will someone please tell me what "erythritol" is? I can alter the recipe for the gum and the stevia to use regular ingredients but I have never used erythritol… thanks as this sounds like a great recipe and would like to try it.

    • Linda Haynes says

      In the tart part of recipe you say 1/4 erythritol. 1/4 what – tsp, TBS, cup. Recipe looks delicious. The erythritol upsets my stomach so I have to watch how much of it I ingest. Stevia doesn’t bother me at all.

  9. says

    I've never really cookies with Macadamia nuts either, I think its just because I grew up never eating them? These little tarts look irresistible though! Great flavor combo these sounds soooo good!

  10. says

    I have a bag of macadamia nuts in my pantry and have been curious as to what to do with them. I'm recently a lover of coconut so these little tarts sound perfect. (I've only ever had these nuts in cookies, so I am curious to see what the fuss is all about myself)

  11. Kel says

    Can I sub regular flour for the gum? I'm not gluten free and it's hard to get stuff like this around where I live. And for the erythriol, can I sub regular sugar one for one?

  12. DOCinTO says

    I just made these tonight and OMG! These are heavenly and perfect for the adult palate. I didn't have any erythritol so I substituted Xylitol instead. And of course since I didn't have mini muffin tins, I used the regular sized ones I have which produced 10 tarts. I guess I'm going shopping tomorrow 😛

  13. PB&J Fam says

    Uh-Mazing!! These sound heavenly!! I'm wondering if the crust could be used in a springform/pie pan??… I would LOVE to use it as a crust for a coconut cheesecake… would be soooo good and blow away ANY traditional graham cracker/wafer crust!! Also, same question as a few others… what can I sub for erythritol and xantham?? Thanks!!

  14. food_dreamer says

    Yes, I think you could put it into a springform pan for a cheesecake crust, although you may need to make more of it. 

    For the erythritol, put in sugar.  Skip the xanthan altogether, especially if just the base of a cheesecake.  The cheesecake filling should help it hold together just fine.

    Good idea, I might have to make a low carb version!

  15. Rae says

    I have made many batches of these, and they are amazing! My latest version used pecans instead of macadamia nuts, and they were also great. Working on my low carb Thanksgiving menu. Do you think you could used a little pumpkin filling instead of the chocolate? and, if so, would you bake them first, or all together?

  16. Kristyl says

    Hi, Carolyn,
    You may have posted this somewhere. But, do you take Swerve and use a high speed blender or grinder to “powder” it or do you use the powdered version from Swerve?

    • Carolyn says

      I buy the powdered version from them because I can’t get it as fine as they do. I think that’s the best way but I know people have said they have had success grinding their own.

  17. Pam says

    Loved these! I didn’t have macadamia nuts, so used almods. Any idea if your can freeze these? I am thinking these will be my Christmas gifts to neighbors.

    • Carolyn says

      I think you could freeze the crusts, and then add the chocolate after. You could probably do it all but I’d worry about your chocolate blooming from the temperature change (i.e. getting that funny grey spotting).


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